Under the patronage of
Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II

Press release


23 November 2013 – 21 April 2014   

Special Exhibition Gallery, Level 1 

ARoS is proud to present THE VIRGIN – the so far most extensive museum exhibition of works by the Danish artist Tal R. 

Tal R already became an internationally familiar name when, with a striking sense of colour and composition, he blazed a trail for the young painting of the 21st century. Over the past ten years he has exhibited in a large number of museums and art institutions all over the world. In Denmark, he has been rewarded for his contribution not least by being invited to decorate the Opera House on Holmen and Frederik VIII’s Palace, the Amalienborg residence of the Crown Prince and Princess.

Focusing especially on the pigment paintings that Tal R started at the end of the first decade of the present century, the exhibition THE VIRGIN turns the spotlight on the continuity and the changes in direction in Tal R’s extensive oeuvre. For at the end of the first decade of the century he came up against a wall. But it was a wall he could not but come up against. For in the years that had passed since he entered the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art in Copenhagen in 1994 he had been full of activity. During the early years he was weighed down not by the amount of time he devoted to his work, but rather a mental pressure to find himself as an artist. Despite his having drawn since he was a child, he did not find it easy to become an artist. Partly in despair and partly in defiance, he started one evening to dab at the canvas with a wet brush and put dabs of paint on the painting just as one puts bits of snot on a wall. This tormenting action, this artistic blind alley, was the start of the new colourful and figurative painting that was later to make him world famous.

Today, two decades later, Tal R is still busy, but now it is merely a case of keeping up with the enormous demand there is for his art. And as for the blind alleys, they have now come to represent a large part of what it is that drives him as an artist. For this is often here he finds space for the changes in artistic direction and the innovations that are characteristic of his work as a whole. Although many of Tal R’s motifs from the quite early works are repeated in his latest paintings and collages, he is constantly challenging himself with new techniques, media and motifs.

In the exhibition TAL R – THE VIRGIN, more than 30 of Tal R’s latest large-scale paintings are combined with an almost encyclopaedic collection of drawings, graphics and monumental collages, some of which have been created especially for the ARoS exhibition. This exhibition draws a picture of an inquisitive and playful artist for whom a completion is always the same as a new beginning, and in which a mountain climbed merely constitutes the foot of a new one. As a charming and unstoppable picture fornicator who meets every new challenge as a virgin.

Tal R

Tal R, whose family name is Rosenzweig, was born in Israel, but moved with his family to Denmark as a child. In 2002, only two years after finishing his training in the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art, he was awarded the prestigious international Carnegie Art Award. In 2004 he was honoured with the Danish Eckersberg Medal, and over the years he has been guest professor in the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art and in art institutions in Helsinki, Hamburg and Düsseldorf.


In relation to Tal R’s exhibition, ARoS is embarking on a unique collaboration with Danish Radio to produce a portrait film of the artist. The film has been conceived and produced by the prize-winning instructor Daniel Dencik, whose film Moon Rider about the cyclist Rasmus Quaade led to his being chosen as the Talent of the Year in the documentary film genre in Denmark in 2012.


To mark the exhibition, ARoS is publishing a large illustrated catalogue in Danish and English containing texts on Tal R’s artistic method with contributions by the internationally recognised art writer Barry Schwabsky, the senior ARoS curator Marie Nipper and the Danish author and poet Søren Ulrik Thomsen.

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Further information can be obtained from: 

Bjarne Bækgaard
Director of Communications ARoS
M: +45 3066 5142  |  bb@aros.dk

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Tal R, Adieu Interessant (red ), 2005-08

Tal R, Adieu Interessant (red ), 2005-08

Tal R, Altergang , 2011,

Tal R, Altergang , 2011